28 July 2016

Reviews: Sing Street, The Story Of O & more...

A bunch of reviews gathered in one post of recent books and films I read/watched.
If you have any recommendations, go ahead! And I hope you will enjoy this post as well.

1. Fangirl / Rainbow Rowell

This is the story: one time when Boris and I were walking to our band rehearsal, I found a bunch of books in a pile by the road. I picked some up, the above was one of them. By the first glance it looked nothing more than a fast food literature thing, made for you to read it as a cheap Hollywood comedy movie in your head. They even had illustrations of the characters inside, so you won't be exerting your little brain too hard:
seriously, this was in the book. Can you guess who the main character is? Oh, she's already on the cover, at least I think that's she, need to double check...
Besides, what kind of name is "Rainbow" anyway?
But - I was happy, or should I say relieved, to find out that it's a very cute book. It's basically your average awkward nerdy teen who starts college, and how she writes a gay fanfic in the process (of a book that purposely imitates Harry Potter).
Now, I could easily understand why the person threw this book to the streets, but in fact reading it was a lot of fun - I was happy to read something light for a change, and honestly many scenes were hilarious. The average teenage girl in all of us would relate to this.
This is as a whole a very sweet book about growing up and about writing - I loved how the main character experiences her biggest hobby and how she identifies through it.
As someone who writes gay fiction as a hobby I was embarrassed (in a good way) of how much this book spoke to me. So if you're looking for a "popcorn read" that will leave you with a very positive feeling in the end, this is it!

2.  The Story Of O / Pauline Reage


So the books I found by the road? This was one of them as well. 
I had no idea what this is until I read the description, which tempted the reader that this was a famous predecessor to Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Now, this is the best part - the cover above is the same as on my book, only on my book the words "before Fifty Shades Of Grey" were hidden with a white sticker, presumably to cover up the embarrassment of reading this on public transport!!!!! At this point, I had no doubt that the person who threw out the books was female (the power of deduction!).
So I have never read an erotic novel before and honestly had no expectation for this, other than it being very trashy. Here are my conclusions:
  • It is very sexual, and very graphic and erotic and everything else you would expect from this type of fiction.
  • It doesn't matter where you are in the book - open it on a random page and you won't be missing any of the "plot" - she's still being fucked, or treated like dirt, or being degraded by a man.
  • There are some quite disturbing anal sex scenes, which I was very sorry to read happened through PAIN and FORCE with the consequence of BLOOD, which made me feel very uncomfortable for women who would, through the pages of this book, read about anal sex for the very first time. That's not how it is you guys, please, go watch a how-to youtube video or something.

From a feminist perspective this is a complete disaster, and while I find absolutely nothing wrong with submissive fantasies of women by the hands of men, some sentences in the book made me cringe. And well, the whole idea of the husband of the main character bringing her to this huge sex mansion for other men to torture her because he "loves her" made no sense at all. That's not how you start a healthy sub-dom relationship, let alone fix your marriage. Just go read a wiki-how, you will get more of a "hands on" approach.

And here's the juicy part: reading arouses me. Reading of any fiction, of any topic. Processing words through my mind somehow triggers something in my body, oh my! So reading an erotic novel, well - it did what it should do and it was hot as hell. I only read it till half, seriously it was enough. Unfortunately I haven't got to the lesbian sex part, silly me...

3. Sing Street

This is a movie for all 80s and/or music lovers - a group of teenagers in Dublin form a band, make music videos and style themselves up, to make their lower class lives more interesting with the dream of moving away to London some day.
It was a cute coming of age movie, with great fashion and fun new wave music, imitating acts like The Cure & Duran Duran in a sweet childish way. But that's pretty much it, I cannot say it was emotionally swooping or anything.
And from Boris' perspective: no one can play their first ever gig at a high school gym that successfully. It's all lies, the poor sound engineering will fail you on your first song, not to mention shitting your tight ass pants!

But if you are looking for some style inspo, this is definitely the film to watch.

4. Hangover Square / Patrick Hamilton

A while ago I googled "most depressing books" and this one came up. Apparently this is a world classic and I am yet to see the film adaptation.
Anyhow, there's this loser guy who is so obsessed with his female friend that through a weird split-personality narrative he realizes he has to kill her.
This is a sad book about sad people. It's filled with cruelty, alcohol abuse (resulting in more sadness and cruelty), aimlessness and low self-esteem. If all this sounds curious to you, by all means go read this book.
For me personally, this book was less about "decadent sadness" but more about "pitiful sadness". I just felt sorry for the main character the entire time. The way he talks to himself in all his changing moods is very interesting to read, great for watching the world decay through a loser's eyes. Alas, you have been warned.

That would be all for today, write me some recommendation on what to read next!



  1. I don't generally like to read sad books, but that last one you mentioned seems so unlike the stuff I usually read that it sounds like a dare. ugh 50 shades. that makes me not want to read that second book. 50 shades not only ruined bdsm, but it ruined bdsm romances. I'm sure you've already read anne rice's sleeping beauty series, but that's the pre-50 shades book they ought to champion.

    1. I have never read Rice's sleeping beauty, I only heard of it! Is it good? I was very content with finding the story of o by the road instead of buying it XD
      Hangover Square is a good book that will make you help identify the toxic people in your life lol

    2. Yep it is very good! I mean, it's Anne Rice

  2. I am quite disturbed by the fact that the Story of O is compared to the Fifty Shades of Grey. I understand it is a marketing strategy, but still. Story of O is a pornographic novel and in its plot no character 'cures' another one from those 'perversions', which is a main part of 50 Shades of Grey's 'plot'. It has been a long time since I read the Story of O but isn't the narrator the main character, or was it so that someone keeps telling about the woman and her life and in the end she tries to escape the world of words? There are alternative endings to that book but if I remember correctly the most used ending is the one she is dressed as an owl at some party and this way she loses touch with humanity and words and the story can end. I have a memory that we have discussed about the narrative techniques of this novel on some literary course back in University. :) The writing in Story of O is way better than the writing in 50 Shades of Grey, and that is the main reason I was surprised with the comparison. :D

    I really liked this post, your analysis is interesting and insightful! Like the part of what sort of pity the novel Hangover Square is filled with.

    1. Speaking of analysis, I liked yours as well! Haven't read the book till the end yet but the language is of good level and is very detailed, the story is told by a narrator, not the main character. Interesting, I will have to read the book metaphorically, maybe it will shed some light on the otherwise flat happenings.
      I will do more review posts if you liked them :)